Facial reconstruction of people from almost two millennia ago

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From a skull it is possible to reconstruct the face that the person had in life. With modern techniques, DNA can also be used to deduce various facial features that the individual possessed in life.

A digital reconstruction of this type has been made recently after sequencing the complete genome of the mortal remains of eight people who lived in what is now Korea approximately 1,700 years ago.

The work is the work of an international team that includes Pere Gelabert and Ron Pinhasi of the University of Vienna in Austria, Jong Bhak and Asta Blazyte of the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea, and Kidong Bae of the National Museum of South Korea.

The reconstruction of the faces has given somewhat surprising results. Those people from nearly two millennia ago look like modern Koreans. They do not present features that differentiate them as belonging to a slightly different ethnic group or that denote other anthropological changes.

As far as the authors of the study know, this is the first time that the faces of individuals from centuries ago reconstructed from only the genetic information contained in their DNA have been published in an academic journal. This pioneering work may lead to other reconstructions of this type when the skulls are extremely degraded.

DNA-based facial reconstruction of four of the people from nearly two millennia ago who lived in what is now Korea. (Image: © Current Biology. CC BY)

The study is titled “Northern Asian and Jomon-related genetic structure in Three Kingdoms period Gimhae, Korea.” And it has been published in the academic journal Current Biology. (Font: NCYT by Amazings)

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Written by Editor TLN

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